Yucca root is a root vegetable that grows in regions with a subtropical climate like Mexico and South America. Also called cassava, it is a staple starch in Africa, and a shrub that is native to Central America. For ages, inhabitants of America have used it to make ropes and baskets. Our focus here, however, is its health benefits. Call it Spanish Bayonet, Guardian of the Desert, Needle Palm, Lord`s Candle; you have many benefits to derive from this amazing gift of nature, yucca root.
Let us talk about it!
Benefits of Yucca Root
It Boosts Immunity
It contains an amazingly high amount of vitamin C and antioxidants that do the immune system some good. How? It stimulates the production and activity of white blood cells; this helps fight infections and viruses. The antioxidants can protect you from cell mutations and damage of free radicals.
It Improves Digestion and Treats Constipation
Because it contains high dietary fiber, it makes bowel movement much easier. What else? The fiber in yucca root is highly beneficial in the digestion and defecation processes. Eat a cup of yucca and get 4 grams of fiber; fantastic, isn`t it? Now that’s about 16% of a woman’s daily fiber need, and 11% of a man’s daily need of fiber. Go yucca root!
It’s Packed with Vitamin C
Do you want a rich dose of vitamin C? Include yucca in your diet. Did you know that vitamin C protects your cells from free radicals that could cause cancer and damage your DNA? Now you know. What else? You get to live longer and have reduced risks of cardiovascular diseases. A cup of yucca root leaves you with 42 milligrams of vitamin C, about 40% of a man’s daily need, and about 60% of a woman’s daily need. I should also tell you that vitamin C aids the production of collagen, the main skin protein. I am loving yucca root already. Are you?
What about Arthritis?
For centuries, native Americans have used yucca as relief from arthritis. What else? People with high risk of arthritis also take yucca to prevent it. Yucca contains antioxidants and saponins which decrease arthritis symptoms. We must be so fortunate to have yucca root. Keep reading.
And your Skin?
Yucca root has been proven to provide quite amazing skin benefits. It has photoprotective properties that protect the skin from sun damage. Perhaps you don’t know, yucca extract is added to some lotions, shampoos, and soaps and they treat loads of skin conditions such as dandruff, cuts, sores, infections, and diseases. Hey, did I tell you yucca contains folic acid that can make your skin lovely? Oh, it does. I`m sure you are loving yucca root even more now.
It’s Loaded with Potassium
Potassium helps balance out your sodium level, keeping your blood pressure healthy. It also supports nerve function and activates enzymes needed by your body to digest carbohydrates. A cup of yucca root gives you 558 milligrams of potassium, about 12% of your daily needs. Interesting!
Now you can Treat Diabetes!
Yeah, yucca root moderately reduces glucose levels and prevents type 2 diabetes. Is yucca root not just so sweet?
It Cures Inflammation and Treats Ulcers
Yucca contains saponin and antioxidants which go a long way in lowering harmful substances and inflammation agents. These antioxidants, fiber, and other substances in yucca root have anti gastritis properties that help to prevent and cure ulcers.
It Cures Headaches and Relieves Stress
Yucca root contains antioxidants and other nutrients which have soothing properties such as magnesium that help relieve headaches and stress. Super!
Ever Heard of Atherosclerosis?
It is a condition which entails severe problems in artery walls due to thickness and accumulation of cholesterol. This accumulated cholesterol makes the heart prone to cardiac arrest and other forms of malfunctioning of the heart.
In comes yucca root…
Yucca root lowers the cholesterol level and prevents its accumulation in the artery walls. Quite amazing!
Yucca Root Cares about your Hair too!
Isn’t yucca root just super? Even your hair isn’t left out in its wonders. Yucca root supports growth, thanks to saponin which is ever present in it. Little wonder some American companies include yucca root in shampoos.
It Inhibits Oxidative Stress
A type of imbalance in our cells, oxidative stress, causes severe damage to the body. It could, over time, lead to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, heart problems and inflammation conditions. Yucca proves itself wonderful here by protecting our bodies from oxidative stress through its possession of antioxidants.
It Prevents Hyperglycemia
Hypoglycemia is a condition caused by insulin resistance or its absence. Saponin, an active substance in yucca root, is beneficial in the stabilization of blood sugar level, and this prevents hyperglycemia.
You may just be tempted to take too much of yucca root because it does just so much than you would have ever imagined. You might need to watch it. Excessive consumption of yucca root may cause diarrhea, digestion upset, and hemolysis. People who are allergic to it may vomit and have abdominal pain. What else? Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding may need a doctor`s word before taking yucca root.
We have said so much about consuming yucca root, and nothing about how to make it edible. Let`s discuss this, I am sure you want to know.
Yuca root is thick and starchy and is used just like potatoes in dishes. It has a mild flavor, which makes it adaptable for various types of recipes. The root is native to Central and South America, and you’ll commonly see it in a variety of dishes in Latin American countries, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean Islands. A number of roots can be consumed raw, but yucca is one of the few roots that must be cooked, as the peel contains cyanide.
Although the root is difficult to peel, once you break through the outer layer, it can be made into fries, added to soups, stewed on its own with butter, salt, and spices, or even pureed and made into custard-like desserts and cakes. Yummy yucca!
How to Prepare Yucca
1. Chop the tip and tail off of the yucca root.
2. With a sharp knife, delicately slice down the full length of the yucca root. Be sure to cut through both the brown peel and the thick white layer.
3. Once the root is peeled, chop it into chunks.
4. Fill a pot with water and boil. Place the chunks of peeled yucca root in the boiling water, and allow them to cook.
Now you know what yucca root is, and you know just what to do with this versatile root which is the third largest source of carbohydrates in the tropics. Amazingly full of Vitamin C, folate, potassium, and fiber, yucca does super wonders such as boosting your immune system and keeping your digestive system regular. It doesn`t leave out preventing and curing diabetes, arthritis, headaches, stress, atherosclerosis, oxidative stress, hyperglycemia, inflammation, ulcers, constipation, and loads of other health challenges. You remember its care for your skin and hair? So I guess you agree that we are right by saying yucca root is super. Do make it a part of your diet, and your body will give you some kudos for the great decision made.